|Publication number||US4173187 A|
|Application number||US 04/670,524|
|Publication date||Nov 6, 1979|
|Filing date||Sep 22, 1967|
|Priority date||Sep 22, 1967|
|Publication number||04670524, 670524, US 4173187 A, US 4173187A, US-A-4173187, US4173187 A, US4173187A|
|Original Assignee||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (26), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention described herein may be manufactured, used, and licensed by or for the Government for governmental purposes without the payment to me of any royalty thereon.
This invention relates to an improved shield for a reentry vehicle, and particularly to one made of fused silica.
Present shields for atmospheric reentry vehicles make use of a low atomic number (Z) material. The low atomic number of the material guarantees good ablative properties and a low radar cross-section. However, heat shields of low atomic number do not provide effective protection against radiation bursts from hot nuclear devices. These recently developed nuclear devices have increased damage potential.
In order to protect reentry vehicles such as missiles from these new types of damage mechanisms, high atomic number constituents have to be incorporated into the structural shell of the missile.
Fused silica has excellent thermal shock resistance as well as good ablative properties and a high radar transmissivity. However, it is a low atomic number material and, as such, cannot be used as a shield.
Accordingly, it is the principal object of this invention to provide an improved shield for use in reentry vehicles, which shield will protect the vehicle from radiation damage, and which will also have improved ablation characteristics and improved microwave properties.
It is a particular object of this invention to provide such a shield made of fused silica.
It has been discovered that slip cast, fused silica shields, the pores of which are filled with graded-Z radiation absorbing particles, give protection against radiation damage, improve the ablation characteristics and do not impair the microwave properties of the shielding.
These and other objects and attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily apparent and easily understood by reference to the following detailed description, of which the accompanying drawing forms an integral part thereof. In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a missile employing a shield of this invention; and
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the front portion of the missile of FIG. 1 taken along the central axis thereof.
Fused silica has excellent thermal shock resistance, good ablative properties and high radar transmissivity. It has been discovered that by certain modifications it may also become an efficient shielding material for hot radiation pulses.
Fused silica is porous. Graded-Z absorbing particles, of a somewhat smaller diameter than the average pore size, may be introduced into the pores so that they are loosely attached to silica grains used as a shield in missiles. A sudden thermal expansion of a high atomic number radiation absorbing particle will therefore not induce a mechanical shock in the silica matrix. However, care must be taken that the high atomic number particle does not evaporate and fill the pores with vapors of high pressure. In order to prevent evaporation, the following arrangement is preferred:
Referring now to FIG. 1, a missile 10 has a structural shell 12 and a nose cone portion 14. Attached to most of shell 12 (or, if desired, only the nose cone portion 14 thereof) is a three-layered (layers 16, 18 and 20) fused silica shield.
In the outer layer 16 of the fused silica shield, particles of high refractoriness, high heat capacity, low vapor pressure and high thermal emissivity are introduced into the pores of the silica grains. Oxides are generally not suitable because they alloy with the silica in the fabrication process and increase the shock sensitivity thereof. However, refractory metals, carbides, borides, beryllides and nitrides are suitable if the atomic number of the metal is from (and including) 20 to (and including) 28. Accordingly, the terms "from" and "to" are defined herein to include the extremes.
In the intermediate layer 18, particles of similar characteristics but with increased atomic number are loaded. The atomic number of the metal should be from 30 (as defined herein) to (as defined herein) 45.
The inner layer 20 includes high atomic number particles. The atomic number should be at least 50. This layer absorbs the hard radiation which is passed on through the outer lower atomic number particles.
If necessary, an additional innermost coated layer of a substantially pure high-Z material may also be employed (on the inner surface of the inner layer 20 of particles absorbed in silica). This insures that any energy unabsorbed by the outer layers will be absorbed before reaching the interior of the missile. The preferred materials for this purpose are hafnium oxide and/or thorium oxide.
This protection system has the following advantages:
(1) Thermal gradients in the material are reduced due to graded absorption of radiation.
(2) The untreated silica matrix can withstand a tremendous thermal shock but is sensitive to mechanical shock. By the loose incorporation of absorbing particles in the pores, minimal mechanical shock will be exerted and evaporation is prevented by the graded absorption.
(3) The particles improve the ablation characteristics of the silica because they increase the viscosity of the liquid film.
(4) The particles do not decrease the favorable microwave properties of the silica-coated reentry vehicle.
The fused silica should be of sufficient porosity to accept the particles loaded therein. The preferred porosity is about 15 percent. Additionally, the holes in the porous silica should be large enough to accept the particles. If these conditions are met, the silica ingredients, including the particles to be loaded, are mixed to form a powder prior to slip casting. If these conditions are not met, the absorbing particles are incorporated in the fused silica mix after coating them with a volatile coating such as cellulose and firing them. When fired, the coated particles form their own pores.
The layers of silica are bonded to each other by slip casting or other conventional manner well known to those skilled in the art. The missile structural shell is made of an ablative material well known to those skilled in the art. The shell is bonded to the silica matrix by any conventional means.
If the pure metal powder (rather than a compound thereof) is used in the inner, intermediate or outer layer, it should be used preferably in only one of these layers, with a compound thereof being used in the other two layers.
This invention is useful in a multi-purpose protection system as a shield for reentry vehicles, such as radomes or antenna windows. To cope with the problems of a cold radiation attack, a foamed (distended) plastic layer, 1 cm. thick, is placed over the silica dome. This foam layer also facilitates the handling of the brittle material. Examples of this foam layer are a non-charring organic plastic such as polytetrafluoroethylene (or similar organic material), C. or an inorganic material such as foamed fused silica.
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|U.S. Classification||250/515.1, 244/117.00A, 244/159.1, 252/478, 343/872|
|International Classification||H01Q1/42, F42B10/46, B64G1/58|
|Cooperative Classification||F42B10/46, H01Q1/424, B64G1/58|
|European Classification||B64G1/58, H01Q1/42C1, F42B10/46|